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Family Genealogy - Engert Family Genealogy

Maria Anna ENGERT was born on 26 September 1813 in Tauber-Bischofsheim, Baden, Germany, the youngest daughter of Franciscus Engert and Catherina Seelman. Most probably together with her sister, Maria Sabina Engert, Maria Anna immigrated to Rochester, Monroe County, New York about 1831. This is based on information recorded on the 1855 New York State census. So far no immigration records have not been located to support this information but it is documented through the births of their children that both sisters were in Rochester in the early 1830's. 

Also immigrated from Tauber-Bischofsheim was a first cousin of the sisters, Joannes Valentine Engert (aka Valentine Engert). He was a bit older than the sisters, born in May 1805 and was the son of Michael Engert and Magdalena Seelman. Unknown at this time but quite likely, Magdalena and Catherina Seelman may have been sisters which may have accounted for the close relationship between cousins some years apart in age. It is documented that Franciscus and Michael Engert were brothers and the sons of Leonard Engert and Catharina Munck which actually makes the possibility of Magdalena and Catherina sisters even more likely as it was somewhat common for brothers to marry into the same family.

Valentine settled in Irondequoit, an area populated with many farms just outside of the City of Rochester. According to her obituary, Maria lived on a farm in Irondequoit prior to her marriage and it is thought that both sisters may have lived with Valentine until they each married.

Both sisters and their cousin Valentine all married in the early 1830's. Maria Anna married Jean Thiebaud Wadel (aka John Theobold Wattel) about 1833, Maria Sabina maried William Joseph Baumann about 1835 and Valentine married Barbara Berger also about 1835. Unfortunately extensive searches for the marriage records has been fruitless; records appear to be missing from the early 1830's. The first records seem to be from 1836. Therefore the marriage dates are based on the date of births of the first known child in each family. It is possible that the marriages occurred earlier than the above esitmated dates.

In the early years, the families remained close. This is evidenced by the fact that they each were godparents to eachothers children. They each had large families. Maria Anna and Jean Thiebaud had 11 children, one of which did not survive. Of those 10 children who survived, 9 of them married and had large families of their own.

Valentine and Barbara had 9 children, some died in early adulthood, some suring childhood. Their eldest son was George Engert who was the well known coal merchant of Rochester. He and his brother Francis both had large families.

The sadest is the fate of the Baumann family. Maria Sabina and William Joseph also had a large family, 9 children in all. The first born in 1836 died at birth or was stillborn. By 1850, they had 6 children. Then something happened. Most likely a terrible illness overtook the family. In the course of 3 months, between June and August, Maria Sabina and William Joseph lost 4 of their yougest children, the youngest of which was born in July of that year. A monument in honor of the 4 children and the one they lost in 1836 was erected in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and is a testament to the sad tale.

Sadly Maria Anna was widowed in 1857 when her husband, John Theobold Wattel, died suddenly when he drowned in the Eire Canal. At the time of his death, their youngest child was under the age of two and the three oldest children were married, but that left Maria Anna with the difficult task of raising seven children between the ages of 17 and 1 1/2 on her own.

Maria lived a long life, dying at the age of 89, leaving 8 of her children, 30 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren, according to her obituary. It was stated that she was in good health until a few short weeks prior to her death and was mentally clear of mind, receiving visitors during the last days of her life, enjoying their company and recalling the events of her life.

Maria Sabina died earlier, at the age of 68 in 1879, leaving her husband and 3 of their children at the time of her death.

Valentine died earlier than his two cousins at the young age of 58 years. The circumstances of his death were tragic. While attending the funeral of a friend, he served as pall bearer and during the ceremony he collapsed, dying shortly afterwards.

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